stories and illustration

A Walk from Coldstream to Lennel Cemetery II


I walk up part of the steep path which goes from the gate by the Tweed up to Lennel village (and by steep I mean very steep, it is a test of stamina to get right to the top); but today I turn thankfully to the right and enter the woods, which in the spring are alive with rooks cawing, with the treetops full of their big nests – today I can hear some crows, but the woods are pretty quiet this fine November day:


The path climbs, the Tweed is further away, its water shining blue between the tree trunks:



aalen24The fallen leaves lie undisturbed.  Very few people seem to walk up here, which is a pity as it is a lovely walk, so peaceful.  At the top the trees part, and there is a fine view looking down over the Tweed, and the fields beyond.  Strange how the natural world mixes its colours so nicely:




I climb higher, I am nearly at the cemetery, and can hear below some fishermen from the East Midlands telling what is obviously an hilarious story.  There voices come up to me very clear, but not quite clear enough for me to get  the gist, which is a pity.  Since there are a lot of trees intervening I take a picture of them (yes, they are down there). I can’t understand this business of sound, really – we live just a few yards away from the town clock, but from the bedroom I have never heard it sound, and yet when I am a mile of so away from Coldstream, walking by the river, I  can count the quarters clear as anything:


Up in Lennel Cemetery I walk around among the monuments and graves.  The grass has grown long.  The sun shines on one particular spot, but it is sinking fast:


aalen32I walk out through the gate at the top, which says: Please Shut the Gate – but the gate does not shut, in fact it doesn’t really open properly either, I have to squeeze through sideways:

aalen33I look back towards the pylons which stride towards Oxenrig,there is a fine cloud made pink by the reflection of the sun:



It is getting cold.  I arrive at the crossroads at Lennel, before the hill down to Coldstream:


I pass Lennel House, which is where Beatrix Potter used to stay, and which is now a Care Home:


It is getting dark even though it is really still afternoon.  This is what a friend of mine used to call The Light of Twi:


It doesn’t take long to get back to  Coldstream by this route, I go down Nun’s Walk, keeping well away from the edge, and take a couple of last photographs (see mad woman in possum hat photographing  the gloaming), then walk up the path, turn the corner, and go home:



November 21, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Walk from Coldstream to Lennel Cemetery I


Snow forecast – elsewhere – but the fine November weather continues, so I put on my possum hat and gloves and Hunter coat, sling the camera round my neck and set off up Nun’s Walk. I have decided to hand-paint  all my Christmas cards this year, so am probably trying to gird up my loins for this mad idea, but at least I didn’t decide to do this on December 20th.

There are many people fishing on the river, and the odd dog:


At the top of Nun’s Walk I take a shot of Charlie with a bird on his head:


I decide to take the walk down by the edge of the Tweed, towards Jacob’s Well:


If my husband had been walking down here he would have picked up the choccy wrapper, but I didn’t notice it at the time.  Down by the river the trees are still bright-leaved, I’ll give them another week or so. There are ducks on the water, that through the non-focussing lens part of the camera look like something from an impressionist painting:



Coldstream Bridge, the border between Scotland and England is looking fine in the sunshine. The boat that is usually tied up on the bank here is obviously in use this fine afternoon. There are boats tied up all along the river. I walk under the bridge and look across to where the heron and some gulls are standing next to the weir. The heron seems to live there, on the English-Scottish Border, like a kind of sentinel:



Across from the wide swathe of  riverplants paled by autumn, over on the other wide of the river, the new hut still has its windows boarded up:


The path goes between the river and the fields on the other side.  All the cattle have gone, after their short life; I find it difficult to look at their prettiness and their inquisitiveness when they are there, knowing their time is so very brief.

Today the low the sun lights up the trees, both on riverbank and in the field:



Beside the river, when I walk down one of the little paths I find this strange plant, which I don’t know the name of, nor the provenance of.  What is it, does anyone know? Why is it lying on the path beside the water like a discarded bouquet?


I have come to the end of the walk beside the river.  I have seen three separate herons, standing like marker posts spaced along the opposite bank, just too far to photograph; and said hello to a fisherman with waders almost up to his armpits; and seen several small groups of people fishing, whom I don’t photograph as it seems invasive, especially considering how much it costs to fish per day; and have heard salmon jumping (which my husband says is to get rid of lice, which is most unromantic); and now I am going to walk through the wood, higher and higher above the Tweed, until I get to the cemetery just beyond the village of Lennel.


November 21, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Tweed River, November


November 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Woods Above the Tweed


November 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

November: Window, Weathervane, Washing


The garden seen through the glass in the studio door, I am back working on The Midnight Hare and trying to decide how to use the materials that fill up the two cupboards that are like a bustle on the back of the octagonal building.  Sit in there, watching the sparrows feeding; not hearing the washing cracking in the wind, as there is no wind today, only a sharp edge of cold, so all the towels will still be soaking when they are taken down. Last week I redid the whole rough, 32-pages, and now there is no excuse not to start working on the detailed rough-to-size, and some couple or so of finished pictures. But I am led astray by the camera sitting on the table, and thus peer out through the door window, enjoying the way the almost monochrome world is twisted and twirled on the other side of the glass.

November 18, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Before They Fall IV


Plenty of pictures of the brilliant colours of autumn being blogged round the world, this is my small addition, just trying to catch the trees of Coldstream in their final blaze of colour before the wind tears the leaves from the branches, or they fall of their own accord, as the cold sets in. One of the beauties of this part of the world is that there are trees planted everywhere, nor plantations of conifers to be forested, leaving the ground looking like a battlefield; but trees that are there to shelter pheasants (not totally altruistic this) and also trees planted because they are well regarded in this part of the world.  So, hail trees of Coldstream, thanks for the pleasure.

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Before They Fall III


November 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Before They Fall II


November 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Before They Fall 1


November 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold Tree by River Tweed

agold tree

I thought this tree was so pretty, shining through the trunks and tracery of foreground trees on the steep slope down to the Tweed. There has been wind today, and it has grown colder and darker, so soon the trees will be almost bare; so I wanted to celebrate this lovely tree before it was stripped bare.

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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